Detection of Merkel Cell Polyomavirus in Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Small Cell Carcinoma of the Lung, and Other Skin Cancers
KL Lee, S Husain, MM Mansukhani. Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare yet aggressive skin cancer in humans that tends to occur in elderly and immunosuppressed patients. A recent study discovered an association between MCC and a new human polyomavirus, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV).
Design: Our study looks for MCPyV by PCR in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from 25 MCC, other skin cancers10 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 10 basal cell carcinoma (BCC), 8 melanomaand 6 small cell carcinomas of the lung. Additionally, control tissue was analyzed from 9 cases of various inflammatory skin conditions. Two primer-probe sets directed at the VP1 gene and large T antigen gene of MCPyV were utilized for real-time PCR detection of viral DNA.
Results: MCPyV was detected in 52% of MCC (13/25), while no MCPyV was found in the other skin cancers (0/10 SCC; 0/10 BCC; 0/8 melanoma) nor in the small cell carcinomas of the lung (0/6). None of the inflammatory skin cases (0/9) were positive.
Conclusions: In this study, MCPyV was identified in over half of MCC cases, but was not detected in other skin cancers, small cell carcinoma of the lung, or control skin samples.
Monday, March 9, 2009 9:30 AM
Poster Session I Stowell-Orbison/Autopsy Award # 77, Monday Morning